This article is written by Laurie Graham, a writer by profession and a mother of teenagers. The article is featured in a women’s magazine and seems to be aimed at parents (or soon to be parents) of teens. Graham’s own experience of being a mother means that she draws on personal experience, which means that readers are more likely to believe her and be convinced that there are good things about teens.
The main purpose of the article is to explain that teenagers and teen years aren’t bad. Graham attempts to explain this through much humor, visual devices, and personal experience.
The way in which the article is set out is visually appealing. The Teen Talk headline is smaller than the main headline, but is in bold and capitalised. The main headline contains different sized fonts, to emphasize certain words, especially the words ‘Good News’. Also, the first sentence of each paragraph is bolder and underlined; this is to capture the attention of the readers. The cartoon is in the centred in the middle of the article to create a visual break in the text, and it adds an interesting layout to the article. Also, each paragraph is columnised and sentences are presented in a typical article style which keeps attention of the readers. Graham also uses a topic sentence on each paragraph, in a bolder font, which makes readers want to continue reading.
The structure of the article is in three parts: part one is Graham introducing her views, and she shows her opinion (which is a positive one) on teenagers, which disagrees with the perceptions of young people today, and the portrayal of teenagers by judgemental elders. She expected teenagers would give her plenty of bad topics to write about, but it’s quite the opposite; she uses powerful adjectives to explain this, such as “Gruesome”.
The second paragraph shows the pleasant side and benefits to teens, and how they eventually learn to help out around the house. She uses humor to explain her opinion, “…and if they’re hungry they’ll offer to unpack the shopping” Her insight into teens allows her to portray them as friendly – the opposite of the stereotype that is in the media today. Also, her long lists of experiences emphasize the amount of numerous new experiences on a parent.
The third paragraph describes the ‘welcome liberations’ of repetitive tasks when the child ages into an adolescent. Such tasks of clipping toenails dissipate, and most tasks are eventually relieved from the parent. Again, she uses humor to explain her point, “…meant covering everything in polythene”. Graham says that is a need when her child’s friends come round, but the exaggeration of coating everything adds humor as it’d be ridiculous to.
The vivid language that Laurie uses is chosen to great effect, as the nature of ‘irritating repetition’ would paint a picture in reader’s minds of an annoying child.
The visual image of the article, mainly the sketch in the middle, describes a teenager asking to borrow his mother’s car to get cigarettes; moments after she explains that teens are so involved in their environment, and being extremely idealistic. The ironic humor is added to by the expression on the women’s faces, and even more so that the cartoon fits perfectly with the style of the insight of a mother, and the language and humor is one that all parents pick up on in their lifetime.
Laurie has used many devices to portray her opinions and ideas on teens, and she has successfully communicated them through this article.